Monday, October 19, 2015

Creating "Old" Cells from Skin Cells

In the article scientists create 'old' cells  the author discussed how skin cells can now be converted into neurons without losing their "age".  This was done by Prof. Gage and colleagues, who decided to use the direct conversion technique to try (and succeed) in creating neurons out of skin cells, rather than the traditional induced pluripotent stem cell method, which was previously (and currently is) done to do the same conversion.
The problem scientist had with the pluripotent method, although it worked, was that this reset epigenetic signatures of the old cell and made them like that of a younger neuron.  This can become a problem when it is used to look at diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and other age related neurological diseases.  This new technique is and can be very important, because by using the new method of conversion scientists are able to bypass the stem cell precursor state, and as a result create an "induced neuron".

I find this to be an amazing advancement, because as they mentioned in the article this allows researchers to identified age related changes within the brain.  Which with the induced pluripotent stem cell method was more difficult because after going through that process they would end up with young neurons, which did not seem to have the same qualities as older neurons.

No comments:

Post a Comment